Urgent Call to Address Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza: A Demand for Action from Majlis Ash-Shura of New York

To the CEOs of New York City Hospitals,

(New York, NY – 3/27/2024)We write to you with a heavy heart and profound disappointment on behalf of the Majlis Ash-Shura of New York (Islamic Leadership Council of New York)-an umbrella of over 90 mosques and organizations and serves as the official representative of its members -regarding the ongoing humanitarian crisis and plausible genocide in Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories at-large. Since the latest escalation of this long-standing conflict, we have awaited a change in your stance, only to be met with further silence. As leaders in the healthcare sector, it is your collective duty to address grave injustices wherever they occur, and yet, the silence and inaction surrounding the crisis in Gaza are deafening.

The situation in Gaza demands immediate attention and action. The people of Gaza are facing an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, as medical infrastructure is crumbling under the weight of relentless attacks with hospitals and clinics being systematically targeted with impunity, and healthcare workers, including medical doctors, are being killed and abducted. This unfounded targeting of healthcare facilities and personnel not only violates international law but also puts the lives of innocent civilians at grave risk. The stark contrast in how victims are recognized, with those in Israel acknowledged as individuals lost to violence while Palestinian casualties are depersonalized, is unacceptable.

It is deeply troubling that amidst this crisis, there has been a glaring lack of public address and allocation of resources from New York City hospitals. While we commend the efforts of hospitals in responding to crises in other parts of the world, such as Ukraine, it is disheartening to see the disparity in attention and support when it comes to the suffering of the people of Gaza. News outlets have reported on the swift response of New York City hospitals in providing aid and support to the people of Ukraine. From donating medical supplies to sending teams of healthcare professionals, New York City hospitals have demonstrated their commitment to addressing humanitarian crises on a global scale. However, the same level of urgency and solidarity has been noticeably absent in the response to the crisis in Gaza.

These double standards are unacceptable. As leaders in the healthcare community, your commitment to healing should compel you to promote peace, equity, and the sanctity of life for all, transcending political and geographic boundaries. Silence is complicity. The people of Gaza are facing unimaginable hardship and suffering, and they deserve our unwavering support and solidarity.

Therefore, we demand that New York City hospitals publicly address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and allocate resources to provide assistance to those in need. This includes donating medical supplies, offering medical expertise and assistance, and raising awareness about the plight of the people of Gaza.

In conclusion, we urge you to heed this call to action and to stand on the right side of history. The people of Gaza are counting on us to be their voice in their darkest hour, and we cannot afford to remain silent. Let us demonstrate our commitment to humanity by standing in solidarity with the innocent people of Gaza and taking concrete steps to alleviate their suffering.

Abdelhafid Djemil, PhD
Majlis Ash-Shura of NY
Islamic Leadership Council of NY